Tennis in India

Tennis enjoys a considerable following in India, although it is limited to urban areas but still it is counted among the most popular sports in India.[1] India has produced a number of tennis players, who have achieved international recognition and have made their presence in some of the top tennis tournaments and grand slams.[2] All India Tennis Association (AITA) established in 1920, is the governing body of tennis in India and is a member of the Asian Tennis Federation.[3] India Davis Cup team is the most successful team of Asia in Davis Cup, who has finished as runners-up 3 times.[4]

Tennis in India
Leander Paes at the 2008 Cincinnati Masters.jpg
CountryIndia
Governing bodyAll India Tennis Association
National team(s)India Davis Cup team (men)
India Fed Cup team (women)
Indian Tennis player Sania Mirza at 2011 French Open.

HistoryEdit

Tennis has been a popular sport in India since around the 1880s when the British Army and Civilian Officers brought the game to India. Soon after regular tournaments like the 'Punjab Lawn tennis Championship' at Lahore (Now in Pakistan) (1885); 'Bengal Lawn Tennis Championship' at Calcutta (now Kolkata) (1887) and the 'All India Tennis Championships' at Allahabad (1910) were organised. In the history of major tournaments, India has already beaten among others France, Romania, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Greece in Davis Cup ties (1921 to 1929).[5][6]

The history of tennis in India goes back a long way. In the 1880s, the British introduced the game of tennis in India during the colonial rule and soon it started gaining momentum. BK Nehru in 1905 and Sardar Nihal Singh in 1908 were later joined by M Saleem, Fayzee brothers and Jagat Mohan Lal who made it to last 16 stages at the Wimbledon. Ghaus Mohammad was the first Indian to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 1939 where he lost to American champion Bobby Riggs.

According to the All India Tennis Association, in Davis Cup ties between 1921 and 1929, India beat, among others, France, Romania, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Greece. Top Indian players like Saleem, Fayzee brothers, Cotah Ramaswamy and Krishna Prasad beat a large number of ranked European players and teams to bring glory to the nation.

In the 1960s, the sport witnessed a golden era. Ramanathan Krishnan earned his highest seeding – No. 4 in Wimbledon in 1962. In the Davis Cup, India repeatedly became the Zonal Champions. Ramanathan Krishnan, along with Premjit Lall, SP Misra, Jaidip Mukerjea and RK Khanna as the non-playing captain, steered India to the Cup finals in 1966. They lost the Cup but not before Krishnan and Mukerjea beat Newcombe and Tony Roche, the Wimbledon champions, (1965) in doubles.

In the 1970s, Vijay Amritraj burst onto the scene. With teammates Sashi Menon, Jasjit Singh and brother Anand Amritraj, Vijay took India to World Cup Finals for the second time in 1974. Vijay also made it to the quarterfinals of US Open in 1973 and 1981; and Wimbledon in 1973 and 1974. Ramesh Krishnan, the son of Ramanathan Krishnan, won the junior Wimbledon championship and junior French Open title in 1979 and was ranked number 1 junior in the world. He made it to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (1986) and US Open (twice).[7]

The 1990s saw the rise of Leander Paes who won the bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In 1997, Mahesh Bhupati became India's first ever grand slam winner when he won the mixed doubles at French Open. Paes partnered with Bhupati to reach the finals of all four grand slams in 1999, winning two.[8] In the 2000s and 2010s, playing separately or together, Paes and Bhupati won several grand slam doubles and mixed doubles tournaments.

The 2000s saw India's first WTA tournament winner Sania Mirza. Mirza also won a number of grand slam titles in doubles in the late 2000s and 2010s.

India's last grand slam win came in 2017 when Rohan Bopanna won the mixed doubles title at French Open. At the end of 2010s, Prajnesh Gunneswaran was the only Indian men's singles player in the top 100.[9] In 2021 Ankita raina becomes 2nd women from India to win a WTA title and enters into top 100 in doubles rankings.

Grand Slam FinalsEdit

In 1997, India won their first Grand Slam title at the French open, in the Mixed Doubles. Since then Indians have won Grand Slam titles in the Mixed Doubles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles besides Girls' Doubles events. No Indian has so far won a Grand Slam Singles title in the Men's or Women's category.

Mixed doubles

Outcome Year Championship Surface Players Opponents in the final Score in the final
Winner 1997 French Open Clay   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Rika Hiraki
Patrick Galbraith
  Lisa Raymond
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 1998 Wimbledon Grass   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Mirjana Lučić
  Serena Williams
  Max Mirnyi
4–6, 4–6
Winner 1999 US Open Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Ai Sugiyama
Donald Johnson
  Kimberly Po
6–4, 6–4
Winner 1999 Wimbledon Grass   Leander Paes
  Lisa Raymond
  Anna Kournikova
  Jonas Björkman
6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up 2001 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Lisa Raymond
  Rennae Stubbs
  Todd Woodbridge
6–4, 5–7, 6–7 (9–11)
Winner 2002 Wimbledon (2) Grass   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Elena Likhovtseva
  Daniela Hantuchová
  Kevin Ullyett
6–2, 7–5
Winner 2003 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Martina Navratilova
  Eleni Daniilidou
  Todd Woodbridge
6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 2003 French Open Clay   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Elena Likhovtseva
  Lisa Raymond
  Mike Bryan
3–6, 4–6
Winner 2003 Wimbledon (3) Grass   Leander Paes
  Martina Navratilova
  Anastasia Rodionova
  Andy Ram
6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 2004 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Martina Navratilova
  Elena Bovina
  Nenad Zimonjić
6–1, 7–6
Runner-up 2005 French Open Clay   Leander Paes
  Martina Navratilova
  Daniela Hantuchová
  Fabrice Santoro
3–6, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 2005 Wimbledon (4) Grass   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Mary Pierce
  Tatiana Perebiynis
  Paul Hanley
6–4, 6–2
Winner 2005 US Open (2) Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Daniela Hantuchová
  Katarina Srebotnik
  Nenad Zimonjić
6–4, 6–2
Winner 2006 Australian Open (2) Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Martina Hingis
  Elena Likhovtseva
  Daniel Nestor
6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 2007 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Meghann Shaughnessy
  Victoria Azarenka
  Max Mirnyi
6–4, 7–6(8–6)
Runner-up 2008 Australian Open Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Sania Mirza
  Sun Tiantian
  Nenad Zimonjić
6–7(4–7), 4–6
Winner 2008 US Open (3) Hard   Leander Paes
  Cara Black
  Liezel Huber
  Jamie Murray
7–6, 6–4
Winner 2009 Australian Open (3) Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Sania Mirza
  Nathalie Dechy
  Andy Ram
6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 2009 Wimbledon Grass   Leander Paes
  Cara Black
  Anna-Lena Grönefeld
  Mark Knowles
7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 2009 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Cara Black
  Carly Gullickson
  Travis Parrot
6–2, 6–4
Winner 2010 Australian Open (4) Hard   Leander Paes
  Cara Black
  Ekaterina Makarova
  Jaroslav Levinský
7–5, 6–3
Winner 2010 Wimbledon (5) Grass   Leander Paes
  Cara Black
  Lisa Raymond
  Wesley Moodie
6–4, 7–6
Runner-up 2011 Wimbledon Grass   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Elena Vesnina
  Iveta Benešová
  Jürgen Melzer
3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 2012 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Elena Vesnina
  Bethanie Mattek-Sands
  Horia Tecău
3–6, 7–5, [3–10]
Winner 2012 French Open (2) Clay   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Sania Mirza
  Klaudia Jans-Ignacik
  Santiago González
7–6(7–3), 6–1
Runner-up 2012 Wimbledon Grass   Leander Paes
  Elena Vesnina
  Lisa Raymond
  Mike Bryan
3–6, 7–5, 4–6
Runner-up 2014 Australian Open Hard   Horia Tecău
  Sania Mirza
  Kristina Mladenovic
  Daniel Nestor
3–6, 2–6
Winner 2014 US Open Hard   Bruno Soares
  Sania Mirza
  Abigail Spears
  Santiago González
6–1, 2–6, [11–9]
Winner 2015 Australian Open (3) Hard   Leander Paes
  Martina Hingis
  Kristina Mladenovic
  Daniel Nestor
6–4, 6–3
Winner 2015 Wimbledon (4) Grass   Leander Paes
  Martina Hingis
  Alexander Peya
  Timea Babos
6–1, 6–1
Winner 2017 French Open Clay   Gabriela Dabrowski
  Rohan Bopanna
  Anna-Lena Grönefeld
  Robert Farah
2–6, 6–2, [12–10]
Runner up 2018 Australian Open Hard   Tímea Babos
  Rohan Bopanna
  Gabriela Dabrowski
  Mate Pavić
6–2, 4–6, [9–11]

Men's doubles

Outcome Year Championship Surface Players Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1999 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Jonas Björkman
  Patrick Rafter
3–6, 6–4, 4–6, 7–6(12–10), 4–6
Winner 1999 French Open Clay   Leander Paes
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Goran Ivanišević
  Jeff Tarango
6–2, 7–5
Winner 1999 Wimbledon Grass   Leander Paes
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Paul Haarhuis
  Jared Palmer
6–7, 6–3, 6–4, 7–6
Runner-up 1999 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Sébastien Lareau
  Alex O'Brien
6–7, 4–6
Winner 2001 French Open (2) Clay   Leander Paes
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Petr Pála
  Pavel Vízner
7–6, 6–3
Winner 2002 US Open Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Max Mirnyi
  Jiří Novák
  Radek Štěpánek
6–3, 3–6, 6–4
Runner-up 2003 Wimbledon Grass   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Max Mirnyi
  Jonas Björkman
  Todd Woodbridge
6–3, 3–6, 6–7(4–7), 3–6
Runner-up 2004 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  David Rikl
  Mark Knowles
  Daniel Nestor
3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 2006 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Martin Damm
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
6–4, 3–6, 4–6
Winner 2006 US Open (2) Hard   Leander Paes
  Martin Damm
  Jonas Björkman
  Max Mirnyi
6–7(5–7), 6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 2008 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Lukáš Dlouhý
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
6–7(5–7), 6–7(10–12)
Runner-up 2009 Australian Open Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Mark Knowles
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
6–2, 5–7, 0–6
Winner 2009 French Open (3) Clay   Leander Paes
  Lukáš Dlouhý
  Wesley Moodie
  Dick Norman
3–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2009 US Open Hard   Mahesh Bhupathi
  Mark Knowles
  Lukáš Dlouhý
  Leander Paes
6–3, 3–6, 2–6
Winner 2009 US Open (3) Hard   Leander Paes
  Lukáš Dlouhý
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Mark Knowles
3–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2010 French Open Clay   Leander Paes
  Lukáš Dlouhý
  Nenad Zimonjić
  Daniel Nestor
5–7, 2–6
Runner-up 2010 US Open Hard   Rohan Bopanna
  Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
6–7(5–7), 6–7(4–7)
Runner-up 2011 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Mahesh Bhupathi
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
3–6, 4–6
Winner 2012 Australian Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Radek Štěpánek
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
7–6(7–1), 6–2
Runner-up 2012 US Open Hard   Leander Paes
  Radek Štěpánek
  Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
3–6, 4–6
Winner 2013 US Open (4) Hard   Leander Paes
  Radek Štěpánek
  Alexander Peya
  Bruno Soares
6–1, 6–3

Women's doubles

Outcome Year Championship Surface Players Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 2011 French Open Clay   Sania Mirza
  Elena Vesnina
  Andrea Hlaváčková
  Lucie Hradecká
4–6, 3–6
Winner 2015 Wimbledon Grass   Sania Mirza
  Martina Hingis
  Ekaterina Makarova
  Elena Vesnina
5–7, 7–6(7–4), 7–5
Winner 2015 US Open Hard   Sania Mirza
  Martina Hingis
  Casey Dellacqua
  Yaroslava Shvedova
6-3, 6-3
Winner 2016 Australian Open Hard   Sania Mirza
  Martina Hingis
  Andrea Hlaváčková
  Lucie Hradecká
7–6(7–1), 6-3

Total medals won by Indian Tennis players in Major tournamentsEdit

Competition Gold Silver Bronze Total
Olympic Games 0 0 1 1
Davis Cup 0 3 1 4
Commonwealth Games 1 1 2 4
Asian Games 9 6 17 32
Total 10 10 21 41

Notable Performance at Summer OlympicsEdit

Year Event Player Result
1924
Men's singles Sydney Jacob Quarter-finals
Men's doubles Syed Mohammad Hadi
Donald Rutnam
Quarter-finals
1992
Men's doubles Leander Paes
Ramesh Krishnan
Quarter-finals
1996
Men's singles Leander Paes  
2004
Men's doubles Leander Paes
Mahesh Bhupathi
4th
2008
Men's doubles Leander Paes
Mahesh Bhupathi
Quarter-finals
2012
Mixed doubles Leander Paes
Sania Mirza
Quarter-finals
2016
Mixed doubles Rohan Bopanna
Sania Mirza
4th

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Robertson, Max (1974). The encyclopedia of tennis. London: Allen and Unwin. p. 392. ISBN 0-04-796042-6.
  2. ^ "Tennis in India". Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  3. ^ "National Associations and their Offices". Asian Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Champions". Davis Cup (official website). Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  5. ^ "AITA History". All India Tennis Association. Archived from the original on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  6. ^ Tilden, William Tatem & Fletcher, John (2004). The Art of Lawn Tennis. U.S.: Kessinger Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 1-4191-5265-3.
  7. ^ "News, Breaking News, Latest News, News Headlines, Live News, Today News CNN-News18". Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Latest Volume16-Issue13 News, Photos, Latest News Headlines about Volume16-Issue13".
  9. ^ "Rankings | Singles | ATP Tour | Tennis".